“Ginna” (Kannada) or “Colostrum Milk Cake” is also known by many names in different regions of India – Junnu (Telugu), Kharvas (Marathi), Bari (Gujarati), Posu (Konkani) and Karambu paal (Tamil). It is a sweet dish made with cow’s milk that is produced in the first three days after a calf is born.
This milk is thick and yellow in colour. It is mixed with raw cow’s milk, sugar/jaggery and cardamom powder and steam cooked until it reaches a thick, set consistency. It is then cooled down to room temperature and chilled in the refrigerator before it can be un-moulded or cut into smaller squares for serving.
My earliest memories of ginna are from my childhood when the milkman would happily share this milk and my mom would make this dessert for us. Ginna used to be very special since this milk was not available year long but with changing times, now it is available in powder form just like milk powder. So, now one can relish this delicacy year-long! If you chance upon this colostrum milk/ powder, do try making ginna. I’m sure you’ll like it.
The taste is somewhat like creme-brulee except for the hardened caramelized sugar part. I have used colostrum powder to make ginna and it is refined sugar-free. I have used organic jaggery powder to make this ginna. You may use sugar/ regular jaggery or palm jaggery too. Depending upon which sweetener you use, the hue of the ginna will vary accordingly.
Sharing below Ginna Recipe. Before I get to it, do check my other dessert recipes too.
- Pumpkin Halwa / Kumbalkai Halwa
- Aralu Hittina Unde – Popped jowar flour laddu
- Poornam Boorelu
- Kardantu – Roasted chana barfi
- Genasina Payasa/ Sweet Potato Pudding/ Shakarkand Kheer
- Lauki/Bottlegourd Barfi – Instant no-mawa recipe
- Carrot Cake – No oven recipe
- Creme Caramel – No oven recipe
- Ragi/Finger Millet Laddus
- Roasted Chana Modak– No cooking recipe
- Makhana/Foxnut Laddus
- Marie Biscuit Laddus – quick, no-cooking recipe
- Oreo laddus – Quick, no-cooking recipe
- Oats-Almonds-Chia Seeds Laddu – Quick, no-cooking recipe
- Pineapple Upside-down Cake in pressure cooker
- Orange Custard
- Rice Kheer
- Putani hittina laddu /Roasted split gram laddu
- Mango mastani
- Mango Sheera/ kesari
- Gadbad ice cream
- Fried ice cream
- Mango shrikhand / aamrakhand
- Kashi halwa / ash gourd halwa
- Colostrum powder – 200 gm
- Raw milk – 1000 ml
- Jaggery – 150 gm, powdered/grated/smaller pieces
- Green cardamom – 4, powdered
1) Ginna/ colostrum powder is now available in packets like these and are readily available online. You may also choose to use colostrum milk if available.
2) Add jaggery to a mixing bowl. You may use jaggery in any form- powdered, grated or broken into smaller pieces. Powdered jaggery is quickest to dissolve with lesser effort. I have used organic jaggery powder here. You may also use palm jaggery or sugar too.
3) Add 500ml milk to the jaggery.
4) Mix well until no lumps remain. The dark colour is due to organic jaggery. Sugar/regular jaggery will give lighter colour and palm jaggery a shade darker than this.
5) Even with best efforts, tiny bits of jaggery remain undissolved. So, using a soup strainer strain this milk and jaggery mix into another vessel. This will also remove any impurities that may be in the jaggery.
6) Discard the undissolved jaggery & any impurities left.
7) Add ginna/ colostrum powder to a mixing bowl.
8) Add 500ml milk to it and mix very well. Ensure that there are no lumps left.
9) Using a tea strainer, strain this milk and ginna powder mix into the jaggery & milk mixture.
10) Discard any undissolved ginna powder or impurities left.
11) Add green cardamom powder and mix well. At this stage, you may also add finely chopped pistachios. This is entirely optional.
12) Transfer the ginna milk mixture to pressure cooker safe bowls for individual servings or in a large container to cook all at the mixture in one go and then cut into squares later for serving – choice is yours.
13) Add 250 ml water in a pressure cooker. Place a ring/stand at the bottom. Heat on high flame until steam forms. Reduce heat to medium flame.
14) Place the ginna milk mixture bowl inside.
15) Cover with a plate. Close the pressure cooker with the gasket on the lid and no pressure weight. Steam cook for 15 minutes on medium flame just like you would do for idlis/dhoklas. Turn off heat. Let it sit for another 5 minutes.
16) Remove and allow to cool down to room temperature. The top surface of ginna might look wobbly… It is okay.
17) Refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
18) To de-mould – run a blunt knife along the sides of the bowl. Place a plate on top and turn it upside-down. Tap the bottom of the bowl couple of times and the set ginna will release from the bowl onto the plate. There will be a little liquid along with the set ginna and it is perfectly okay. Enjoy!